Feature

Which Gaming Icon Would Survive Best On A Desert Island?

by Jack Gardner on Aug 16, 2012 at 08:40 AM

Sometimes it’s the big questions in life that really matter. What is the meaning of life? Who shot first? Team Edward or Team Jacob? Other times, people just ask dumb questions and smarter, more superior people try and answer them as best they can. This brings us to the big question that is on everybody’s mind (since they read the title): Which gaming icon would survive best on a desert island? 

To answer this most pressing question, we powered up our super-hyper Computron 9001 and plugged in all of the data we could find on some of video game’s most iconic characters. Each gaming icon will be hypothetically placed on separate, inescapable desert islands that sustain small ecosystems and rated arbitrarily based on their imaginary performance. This is science, not opinion.

Mario – Arguably gaming’s most famous icon would die of starvation or poisoning rather quickly. While the plucky Italian plumber has a wide variety of skills ranging from baseball and go-karting to single-handedly destroying kingdoms, cooking is a surprising blank spot in his repertoire. He has been eating pasta, spicy fireflowers, and mushrooms his entire life. He might be able to jump on the occasional sea turtle, but he certainly wouldn’t be able to stomach his catch. Furthermore, Mario has no actual survival skills. Sure, he can hop around, shoot fire from his hands, and wear ridiculous costumes, but those aren’t going to help him live through a hurricane. He is a doctor, but he has no way of discerning poisonous food from others, as evidenced by his willingness to eat obviously poisoned mushrooms with skulls on them. These two traits would lead to a rather unpleasant end for everyone’s favorite plumber.

Rating: F

Kirby – You would think that Kirby would do well on a desert island. He can eat practically anything and he can absorb knowledge and abilities from the things he eats. The very thing that you think would allow him to thrive on a desert island would actually be his downfall. One thing that Kirby lacks is self-control. The instant that little bugger gets hungry, you can bet that he is going to eat every single critter on that island. After savagely destroying the island’s wildlife and vegetation, the intrepid pink puffball would die of starvation.

Rating: D-

Kratos – Who can hope to contain a man that has two blades attached to his arms and seethes with the fury of a god? Kratos wouldn’t last long on a desert island, not because he would be incapable of surviving (Kratos ain’t going to die like no chump!), but because he would construct a raft and attempt to escape the island. Of course, in this hypothetical scenario, it would be impossible for Kratos to escape. But the impossibility of doing something like, for example, killing a deity, has never stopped Kratos from trying in the past.

Rating: B-   

Fox McCloud – Some heroes are really just animals at heart. Though he may be one of the best mercenary fox-pilots in the universe, Fox McCloud is also quite the skilled survivalist. He proved in Star Fox Adventures that he could succeed in a hostile and primitive environment while engaging in paw-to-claw combat with dinosaurs. Let me say that again: he fought dinosaurs with his bare hands (paws?) If nothing else, this shows he is capable of fending for himself in the wild. His combat prowess combined with his natural foxy instincts mean that he is going to do very well on the island and probably go on to build a summer home there.

Rating: A

Sonic – Hedgehogs are not typically known for their hunting skills or ability to distill freshwater from seawater. Sonic might be fast, but would he really be willing to eat small, defenseless animals? Can he live off only palm fronds? Furthermore, my money is on Sonic being the character that gets thirsty and drinks the saltwater. Even super-powered hedgehogs get dehydrated. 

Rating: C

Solid Snake – The ultimate survivor, Solid Snake will kill and eat anything to ensure his own existence. As his genetic progenitor Big Boss demonstrated in Metal Gear Solid 3, he will eat anything he can kill: alligators, a bus, frogs, Kenyan Mangrove Crabs, and many other creatures. He even does most of it with his trusty knife. No ammunition necessary. If he gets injured or accidentally poisons himself, he knows how to treat himself and how to keep calm under pressure. Heck, he’d probably do so well on that island he’d build a facility to clone himself and start some weird Snake society/complex. Oops, didn’t mean to give away the plot to Metal Gear Solid 5.

Rating: A+

Zelda – Assuming we are using the Zelda from Ocarina of Time, Zelda would do fairly well on a desert island. Proficiency in ninja-style knife throwing and concealment make up for her survival skills. While she might not be used to hunting or gathering, she is a fast learner and her skills have practical application to her predicament. She also knows magic, which would be helpful, except that Ocarina of Time is very vague about what Zelda’s powers can actually do. Overall, Zelda would do well there, until Ganon or some other force of evil swept her away to star in another Zelda game.

Rating: A-

Ezio Auditore da Firenze – Assassins usually make good survivors. Their natural dexterity and cunning gives them multiple options in tight scenarios. Ezio has a lot of things going for him, but his aristocratic upbringing might hold him back from dominating his island. Sure, he might be one of the most deadly assassins to ever live, but do you think a member of the upper class would really stoop to eating bugs, fungus, and drinking their own urine? Bear Grylls this guy is not.

Rating: C

Sackboy – One of the unfair advantages (besides being obnoxiously adorable) that Sackboy has over other video game characters on this list is that he has no need for nutritional sustenance. Food can be hard to catch or find on a desert island and Sackboy doesn’t even need to try. All the little fella needs to worry about is getting his stuffing wet and moldy. To prevent this, the little bundle of fluff would need to construct shelter as quickly as possible. If he could complete that, I imagine he would be fine until the inevitable hurricane, tidal wave, monsoon, etc. washes his home away and leaves him soaked.

Rating: B 

Mega Man – Having a hand that can turn into a plasma cannon can be useful approximately five percent of the time in social situations. When surviving in the wild, though, a plasma cannon comes in pretty handy. You can start fires easily, and use it to hunt or defend yourself. The downside of Mega Man is that he is a robot. Initially, this would work to his advantage allowing him to quickly and tirelessly build shelter. However, all too soon he would fall victim to low energy and enter sleep mode or power down completely. While he would survive if somebody happened to cross his tiny island, the imaginary chances of that happening are slim. Without outside help, he would perish. 

Rating: D+

Samus – Unlike Mega Man, Samus can take off her suit if it loses power. Catching food should be a cinch, since she literally makes her living off chasing creatures around the galaxy. She doesn’t particularly need shelter since her suit provides as much shelter as any human being could ever possibly want. As long as her suit functions, she can breathe underwater and withstand the worst storms or disasters nature is sadistic enough to throw her way. Honestly, Samus doesn’t seem to have anything keeping her from surviving on a deserted island indefinitely. 

Rating: A+